Friday, December 12, 2008

Internet Findings

The new promo for next years ITU series is up. Not the most exciting, but still fun nonetheless.

Also, I was wasting time today and came across this website by Elizabeth Kreutz.

Some pretty cool photos on there, this one I liked a lot. Not that I would ever do this, but think its cool all the same.

There is also a pretty cool section of photo's showing Lance Armstrong's comeback effort, check out the shape he is in. That guy is going to need to lose some upper body weight to get back into grand tour fitness, he looks more like a hockey player than a cyclist.


Its supposed to go down to -15*C Saturday overnight, where am I? I thought I had left Montreal cold for Vancouver. Oh well. It will be practice for when I go back east next week

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Woo! Running!

I went back to practice once again today with the goal to complete the whole thing.

The beauty of being the run coach is that you can decide how long a practice is!

Tonights practice started out with a Fartlek workout, roughly a 500m square block where the north south side you ran hard, while the east west sides you ran easy.

The workout prescribed 5 laps of the block (Now I thought this block was longer, as in more the 1km range so we were finished much earlier than anticipated).

I completed this feeling pretty good, absolutely no pain in my foot and legs were holding together which pleased me considering I hadn't done any real interval work in months.

Since we were finished the workout in 20 minutes including warmup and drills, I decided since today was out last run before Christmas break that we would mix things up and have some fun. I decided to throw in a relay race. 

The relay was 1 lap around the 1km loop, tag your runner, and then as soon as your team has finished the 1km loop, do the same for the 500m loop. We were six runners tonight so I just casually split up the teams and hoped that they would be somewhat fair. 

WOW tight match.

After the 1km loop my team was roughly 10 steps behind, a gap that was held steady until the final 500m where Andrew and I were running anchor for our respective teams. I tried my hardest to close the gap, using my old track and field days as inspiration, in the final 100m I put in the real oomph, and managed to bring it to within a few inches, but Andrew held me off.

Long story short, Managed the full practice and felt great doing it. No foot pain!

Granted this was probably the dumbest exercise I could have finished the practice with, but I was feeling good and willing to have some fun. And I think it went over pretty well, people enjoyed it.

Just to give a review, that 1km lap was run in about 3:05....

It hurt!

I'm going to go cough up a lung now, have a good night!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Rollers Update

Alright, now that I've had them for a few days I can give my first feelings on them.

So far so good. I've gotten used to them quite quickly. There is a very quick learning curve, once you get the confidence that you aren't going to fall they are quite simple.

In my first half hour on them I managed to get my water bottle, reach my back pocket to fiddle with my iPod and ride with one leg, then finally no hands. I've ridden for 30 minutes each day since getting them and have simply been working on these skills as along with simple balance.

One of the concerns I had in getting rollers was that I was told you can't do power workouts, you can only spin all the time. This turns out to be only partly true. Fair enough I can't do standing climbing exercises, however, if you drop your bike into the heaviest gear, you can definitely break out a heavy sweat. Some intervals I've been doing have been 5 minutes trying to keep the bike speed above 50kph, and I'll tell you, rollers can make your legs burn.

That being said, there will be a lot of good time trial action going on this winter where I can work on maintaining a constant effort for extended periods of time. I'll just have to work on explosive power at the gym.

17 Days till Christmas!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

First Time on Rollers

Alright, so I got my rollers this afternoon, and today was my first time trying them out.

To many of you who hoped I would fall and make a fool of myself, well I'll just let you watch and see what happens. I think you may be laughing once or twice.


Now that I'm done playing on the internet, I think I'll actually go use them for a while

Youtube cut off my HEAD! Oh well, worst things have happened


Last week I decided I was going to finally stop procrastinating buying rollers for my bike. What are rollers you may ask. Check them out here

I'm excited for them, there are a lot of training techniques you can practice on rollers like balance, as well as getting a really efficient riding technique.

I've promised a few people that I was going to videotape myself on my first time on the rollers, hopefully it will be highly entertaining. I just hope I'm not as bad as this guy.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Favorite Swim Workouts

There are two swim workouts I've done lately that I just love. I find them to be challenging, but at the same time really easy to fly through the distance without it being a chore.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the 15X100m set, but that can be hard to motivate yourself at times.

So the first one is take your 1500m race pace and add 15/10/5 seconds to that.
(For example, my race pace is 1:30/100m)

So your interval is
1:45/1:40/1:35 repeat.

What I like about this workout is that even though you are swimming hard the whole time, it feels almost like a fartlek workout. And instead of being 15X100 you think of it more as 5X300 broken up.

The second thing I like about this workout, and unfortunately unless you swim exactly my pace you won't enjoy it as much, is that those times add up exactly to 5 minutes, so its the same time on the clock every time. I just need to remember to leave on 
Red Top
Red 45
Red 25
Repeat Red Top.

The Second workout I really like doing, and I don't know what the name of it is, but every subsequent 100 has to be faster than the previous.

You make your interval time really easy, say 2:00/100m. This give ample time for recovery. 

Starting out, you swim the first 100 really slow focusing just on technique, ie; 1:55ish, should feel painfully slow. 

Then each 100 after that should be 1-2 seconds faster. 

The first 5-8 should be really easy but then you get down to the 130's and it gets a little bit more of a workout.

Once you hit #12-13 your now in the 1:20's and for me, this is getting into the red zone. 

Whats nice about this workout is that it teaches your to build by the end, and since you were focusing on technique for the first bunch, hopefully you should be swimming efficiently and strong. My goal for this one is to at least hit 15X100.

Anyways, thats all for now

Finally a new training update!

This week I finally got back in the pool. It was really difficult at first, but now that I'm a few days in its really great to start working out again. Every winter I go into a slump with my training, last years was nearly 4 month long. This year I knew that after the marathon I was going to be psychologically wiped, but didn't think it would hit me this hard. I haven't really tried running yet, but I still don't think my foot is back to par, I really need to get it checked out. The beauty of triathlon is that I can simply keep putting that off and focus on biking and swimming and there isn't TOO much loss.

Back to the pool.

I went back to my first swim with the club on Tuesday, and let me tell you, it was HARD. I was in terrible shape. Instead of swimming I was simply sinking. I felt like that mouse in the photo holding to the wall for dear life. At the end of race season I was comfortably holding 1:30/100 meters in all of my sets. This week going back, I was struggling to hit 1:30's high and sometimes edged above 1:40. I was skipping sets and doing my own thing. Turns out 6 weeks out of the pool can really do a number on your fitness.

With embarrassment in mind, I went swimming Wednesday over lunch. I wanted to get a good strong workout in, but my arms were so dead from Tuesday that I just sneaked in 1000 meters and called it a day.

Thursday I braved practice again which was 21X100 main set broken up into different paces. The end being 6X100 @ 1:35. This should have been an easy set, but I was just sneaking in around 1:33 and not getting nearly enough rest in those 2 seconds that I would have to skip again.

The plus side to this is that even though it was only two days, Tuesday to Thursday there was a drastic difference in my fitness.

I went swimming again today and did a 2.5k workout, and was finally comfortably able to make my sets on 1:35. It always surprises me how quickly it will come back. Sure I'm still a long way off from where I was in the summer, but I can consider this my build phase for the coming season, get some good ground work in. My goal for next summer is to hit 1:25/100 meters open water over 2k, this is quite a bit faster than I'm at today but with some effort I think it can come.

Anyways, off to sleep, on that note I'm going swimming in the morning. Going to try and get as much fitness in before I get fat and lazy over the holidays when I'm back home with Mom cooking for me! I can't wait!

Take it easy

Thursday, November 20, 2008

1000 Hits

I've got a traffic counter at the bottom of this blog, and since September 4th 2008 I've now had 1000 Hits!

What this means is that people have checked my blog from 1000 different IP addresses. May be the same individuals however, they are doing it from all over.

More details as well, I've had 1450 page loads since September as well.

Good stuff.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Subscribe To Vincent's Ramblings

Some of you may have noticed the Subscription box on the right panel of the blog. If you type in your e-mail address it will send you an e-mail any time I update. Making it so you don't have to repeatedly check in to see if I've written anything.

Note: There will be an e-mail confirmation, it will probably show up in your junk mail.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Looking forward to 2009

Its been just over a month since the marathon. My foot is still bothering me a little bit, however, I made it through the warm up and cool down of Wednesday's run without any pain. Hopefully next week I will be able to do the entire workout. I'm still taking it easy but just to keep the muscles in tact.

Progress was made today, I went for my first bike ride since mid September. We were given a fantastic day in Vancouver, overcast but NOT RAINING! 

Since we had dry roads I decided it was time I try out my biking legs again.

Due to unforeseen jobs (like switching my brakes), I was a little delayed in my ride and only got to do a short 20km ride instead of the planned 30-40k but its probably a good thing to take baby steps back into it. My right leg felt good, weak, but good. If tomorrow is clear I will try and do another ride, possibly with a little more power as well.

While I was riding today I decided that I was going to really try and keep in better shape over the winter this year than I have over the years past. Last year I took nearly 4 month of sedentary laziness. This winter I want to at least get a few hours of cardio in a week to make sure I'm not starting from scratch come spring.

I've set a few goals for the coming season, I won't describe them in too much detail because I will have a full report on that sometime in the new year, but some key points are:

Podium at a race (last season best was 9th)
Race sub 4:20 at an official distance half (last season fastest race was 4:38 when standardized to official distance). To accomplish this I will really need to work on my running and biking. I figure I can run and bike nearly 10 minutes faster each. That will really be handy.

I have more sport specific goals but I'll get to those later. 

Its going to be a hard route to get there, but the fact that my legs are feeling better shows that the climb has at least begun.

Tomorrow is the Fall Classic, a half marathon out at UBC and a few members of UBCTC are racing. I'm going to head out there and watch and cheer everyone on. Expect some photos. Lets hope for clear weather.

Take Care

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Either this is the funniest thing you've seen all week, or you just don't get it.

It has everything, amazing math joke, AND A PUN!
This comic has a whole bunch of great puns
Q - "Did you have fun doing laundry?" 
A - "LOADS!"

If I had Mr. Caldwells e-mail, I would probably send this to him.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Long Days in Lab

I've been spending a lot of time in lab lately and during my free time have been either catching up with the rest of life or sleeping so I haven't had all that much exciting stuff to write about. Hopefully life will become a little more interesting soon.

My foot has been feeling really good all week, the big test will be tomorrow when I lead out the run practice to see if I can make it through.

Other than that, since I haven't been riding or running at all, I decided to hit the gym and try and work on some of those minor imperfections which later result in injuries. 

Sunday I tested out the Bird Coop (Campus Pay Gym), it was pretty good, they have some nice machines that I like that they don't have at the free gym, the primary thing being the olympic bar. I really like using the olympic bar for squats. What got me on the idea of going to the gym and doing weights? Last week I tried doing lunges during the run practice and nearly crippled myself with my weak hamstrings, so I've made it a new mission to work on these, figuring that this will help me with my power problems on the bike as well.

Since I am doing very little cardio these days, I decided to do some elliptical. Laugh all you want, but surprisingly the elliptical and be a pretty brutal workout if you try hard enough. I got on it while talking with Facundo yesterday, and he got on the stationary bike beside me and kept me company while I ellipticalled???? 45 minutes later I was a drenched t-shirt and very hungry. Who knew. Its a little embarrassing though because when I think of elliptical workouts I think of Lululemon girls reading magazines listening to their ipods not sweating at all.

On another note (And probably playing a minor role in my motivation to go back to the gym), I weighed myself on a really accurate scale sunday, with shoes, socks, shorts, shirt and ipod I came in at a staggering 139.8 pounds. This is the first time I can remember since having the flu in grade 10 that I've been below 140 lbs. Post marathon weight? Maybe its just that, but I'm trying to make that back. Obviously not in the form of biceps or anything ridiculous like that, but in quads and core strength. We will see how that goes.

All for now!

The rain in here, one upside to not being out running I guess.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I just want this pain to go away.

A little recap before I get into the nitty gritty of where I'm at today.

I had my lab presentation that I was procrastinating my last post and followed that up with a weekend of festivities. Starting with the Microbi Symposium which is always a good night out and then the Saturday going to the Parade of L
ost Souls out on Commercial Drive. Its more of a gathering than a parade. People dress up in their halloween costumes and there are street performers and drums. All round a good time.

I specifically like the people on stilts.
The following morning there was a nice change of scenery. Two friends of mine from the McGill Cycling Team are now living in Kelowna and were in town to watch the World Cup Speed Skating Competition at Pacific Coliseum.

This is short track speed skating and I had a childhood friend (Travis Jayner) racing for the American Team. I won't give too many details, but if you've seen it on TV, its 10X faster in person. Its really incredible to watch. My favorite event was the relay. For those of you who don't know what this is, what happens is there are 4 teams of 4. So 16 people on the ice all skating in circles. One person has to be doing laps at all times but the tag of for the next skater can happen at any time so its a chaotic 5000 meters of high speed skating that somehow doesn't result in a crash.

Check out this video (This is front the Vancouver Race) Canada is the Black with White stripes typically leading the race. Go to the end to really see the speed pick up.

Unfortunately Travis didn't have the best day, but it was still cool to see him skate.

The following week was fairly uneventful, I had a promising meeting at work with another lab where we brainstormed ideas and came up with some new objectives for the coming month. But the week was really just focused on Halloween that was coming up.

Thursday night a bunch of people from my building and I carved pumpkins. You can check out our work here, but I'll post mine just so you can see the awesomeness of Optimus Prime. 

For Halloween this year I had a whole lot of ideas and was debating what to be until the very last minute. In a clutch decision I decided to be Steve Prefontaine. If you don't know who he is, first off; FOR SHAME, and secondly, read up on him because he is pretty sweet. There are also two good movies on him; Prefontaine and Without Limits. I suggest watching both many times.

To perfect his costume I would need running attire, but most important is a beautiful growth of facial hair. Check and Check. With a little arts and crafts time I made the Oregon Logo to go on a shirt that he was so famous for and was ready to be on my way. My friends and I all decided to go to a bar party at the Blarney Stone which is crazy busy on normal nights, so on Halloween we decided to get there insanely early at 6:30 to make sure we got in and didn't have to wait too long. This turned out to be a great move because I know people who showed up at 8:15 and never got in.

The night was a big success and since we got there so early it was a fairly early night. I don't know about you but I can't last too long drinking when I start at 6 so my 1:30 AM I was home and by 2 in bed asleep. Lilia made fun of me for being old because this was really late for me.

Unfortunately the facial hair is all gone now and I'm naked and cold. People keep telling me I look weird and like a little boy without it, so I think I am going to grow it back. Time will tell for that one.

Now for a training update, which also goes along with the title of the post.

I haven't tried Biking yet, weather has been pretty crappy and I think psychologically I've been nervous about getting back out there after my leg injury for fear of it acting up again. The main reproach to fitness I've done is running. Last Wednesday I led the run practice which included a 2km warmup and then the main set was 1km repeats. I made it about 3.5km until my knee started to really hurt. This was in the same spot as the pain from after the marathon. I think that one of my tendons must be really tight still. I took the rest of the practice easy and then walked it off. 
Today being a week later I was hoping my knee would be better. Again I ran the warmup with everyone but then about 3km into the run my knee started getting that twitch to it again. That being said I quit running and became coach Vince from there with my stopwatch in hand and yelling voice ready to encourage and get mad at inconsistent pacing (Rich would be proud). 

I haven't really done any stretching since the marathon, so this resting recovery clearly isn't doing enough and active stretch recovery will be needed.

A little more serious than the tight knee though is the pain I get in my foot after I run. Its the same pain I got during the marathon which leads me to believe that I may have damaged something important in there. I really hope this doesn't stick with me for a while. I'm beating myself up over not getting outside and exercising, I've gotten really lazy since the marathon which is transferring over to the rest of my life as can be seen from the lack of updates on the blog, but getting myself out training isn't going to help anything either. Hopefully by my next update I will have taken steps to make things better. 

One fun thing thats been happening to me a lot lately, since I've been coaching the run practices, I've had a few people from work start asking me questions about running and fitness, and I find it really rewarding and exciting to have people showing an interest in fitness as a result of my influence. Hopefully I can make this spread.

Well I think thats all for now. I'm trying to catch up with work and the rest of my life right now, so training updates will be a little slow but maybe I will have more personal updates in the near future.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Watching Videos like this make me want to expand my bike collection.

Looks insane, but at the same time SOO much fun.

Man, my presentation for tomorrow is never going to be finished if I keep this up.

Motivating Blog

I often read a lot of other peoples blogs to get idea's for writing style and for inspiration towards what I want to write about. 

I came across this blog the other day by Meyrick Jones. I won't explain the blog, but read his most recent post: My Mount Everest.

Great read. Its a blog I'll surely start to follow.

Monday, October 20, 2008

About Time

I decided after the marathon that I was going to wait some time to write the report because my opinion of the race was somewhat jaded immediately afterwards and my review of it would have been somewhat skewed.

Short version:

Race went generally well, at 16km foot started hurting due to timing chip, fell of pace at 26km. At 36k was just trying to hold on to the finish which I finally did in 3:12:44, good enough for 4th in my age group.

Before beginning my detailed race report, I would like to congratulate a few people who ran this past weekend:

Sean Brown: running in his 6th marathon and setting a huge PB (3:30:35)

Winston Guo: Finishing his first Marathon (3:22:34)

Erin Prosk: Finishing her first marathon (3:29:42, 4th in her age group)

Doug Giles: (3:09:52)

Rachel Kiers: (3:09:30)

Luke Lavallee: Unfortunately only made it 26km, his knee started hurting resulting in having to quit the race.

Long, Detailed Version:

Race morning is always a time I hate, wake up extra early to try and force feed yourself food you don't really want to be eating in the first place but know that you have to. Eating before a triathlon is bad enough, but at least you are eating before swimming and then a bike ride, plenty of time to properly digest before the run. The marathon on the other hand offers no easy transition into the morning. 

I decided to go with my typical two Cliff Bars, worked and fueled me well enough for half irons, it should do well enough for a marathon.

The race was at 8:30 AM, I decided it would be wise to wake up at 6. I'm quite jealous of my brother race morning, Luke was also running, however, he seems to have an iron stomach race morning. I started eating at about 6:05 and finished forcing the two Cliff Bars down by 6:34 I remember seeing on the clock. Luke woke up at 7:15 and was done eating two Cliff Bars and a bowl of pasta by 7:30.

The race was roughly 2km from the hotel, not too far, but further than we wanted to walk race morning. We went down to the lobby to look into a cab, but didn't need it, a driver that went by the name of Dominic offered to drive us. Man was Dominic a character, he asks us if we mind him playing some music on the way, Luke and I agree to it, and so he PUMPS UP THE TUNES! Hard Gangster rap at 7:45 in the morning is a little much.

Here is an example of the introduction into one of the songs:

"What do you say to someone with two black eyes?
-Nothing, you've already told him twice!"

Dominic, despite being from Victoria, I'm not sure knew his way around. He drove us a roundabout route towards the race start, after warning him that the roads would be closed off all along the course he got confused and started driving us in the wrong directions. At this point, Luke and I decided it was best to walk from there. Dominic got us 1/2 of the way. Not to bad and we still had plenty of time. 

Dropped off our stuff, went to the bathroom and then quickly lined up for the race. It was a little chilly race morning, but I decided to go with only small dollar store gloves and no arm warmers. 

Positioning myself near the front, I had 2 minutes to stretch and get ready for the race. I was about 3 rows back from the front, I think this was among the best I could have asked for seeing as how the first two rows were the pro seeded runners.

Off goes the gun, right on time. It felt really weird running a marathon, I'm used to running 5-10k races where your first km is always freakishly fast, in this situation, we took it out fast, but at the same time still really controlled, first km in 3:56

The first 5km were pretty fast, it was really hard to keep my pace slow and not race. Reaching 5k I looked down and saw that I had run in 20:05. Pretty good considering running on pace would have put me at 21:20. This is the point in the race however that I started thinking to myself how much running I still had to do. 37.2k to go, ugh!

Running through the next 5 k were pretty good. I came to realize that I was really fast on the flats and descents, however, any uphill part really slowed me down. When I list the km pacing later on, you'll see the inconsistency in my pacing, this is all due to small inclines in the route. Anyways, rounded of 10k at a steady 41:16.

Up to 15k there were no real problems, the only issue was that I was running more of a 4:05 pace instead of a 4:16-17 as I had planned so between km 10-15 people who ran a freakishly steady pace started to catch up to me as I slowed down to 4:15.

km 16 is where problems started to kick in, I made a rookie mistake. Having never really done a long road race before I laced the timing chip into my shoe. The problem that aroused from this was the timing chip caused bunching of my laces and I kept getting a pressure point on my right foot. This started hurting quite a bit at km 16 and persisted until the end of the race. It hurt enough that I went from being 1:50 faster than pace at 15k to being only 4 seconds faster than pace by 21.1km. I actually stopped to loosen my shoe and try and fix the timing chip at 20k.

I was able to battle the pain in my foot holding steady 4:16km until km 26 when the pain really started to set in at which point my pace really started to soar. 

At km 34 Rachel Kiers caught up to me, and we chatted for a while, she was still running strong. For those of you who don't remember, she also raced against me at Shawnigan Lake and Vancouver half iron. I tried running 1km with her, however, the 4:45 min/km pace was too much for me at that time. My right foot was just crushed. Looking at my watch I knew that my new target time was now 3:10, but that would be slim.
Finally after 42.2km I crossed the finish line in an agonizing 3:12:44. Generally I'm pretty happy with this. I know that had I been more conservative I could have gone probably closer to 3:05 but that was never the intention, I wanted to take a crack at 3 hours. I sacrificed the good to go for the great and ended up with Just Ok for my standard.

The worst part of this race was being at 35km and hating life in general and knowing deep down that I would do this again because I knew that had I properly trained 3 hours would be easily attainable. 

My recovery from the race was pretty good, I was barely moving the days following the race, muscles were feeling pretty good, however, my feet and knees hurt a lot, the tendons around me knees were really tight, and my feet felt like they had been beaten with a hammer. I guess thats to be expected after running 42.2km. After all, the first guy to run a marathon finished and then died, so just finishing is a testament to my body.

Funny story from the marathon though. There was a runner who was doing a charity run for the Canadian Comedian Association or something like that, and anyways, he ran the entire marathon juggling. Where this becomes unfortunate was that this juggler had a personal marathon (non juggling) of around 2:30 (really fast), so juggling he slowed down to roughly a 3:10 pace. This meant that he ran the WHOLE race either just in front or just behind me. Every corner that had spectators instead of having people read my race number and see my name and yell "way to go Vince!", I just got, "Hey looks, its the JUGGLER!"

I thought I had beat him at 33km when he dropped a ball and I passed him (I swear I didn't kick it), but then at 38k he passed me, I tried to respond but legs just weren't giving any, so I got beat by the juggler.

Anyways, here are my paces for the race. I only have the first 29km because the watch I forgot had a limited amount of lap times.

1km   3:56
2km  3:51
3km  4:15
4km  3:56
5km  4:05    [20:05]
6km  4:15
7km  4:18
8km  4:04
9km  4:26 (uphill and aid station)
10km 4:05   [41:16]
11km 4:23
12km 4:24
13km 4:13
14km 4:21
15km 3:57
16km 4:21
17km 4:34 (Ankle pain really kicks in)
18km 4:24
19km 4:14
20km 4:32
21.1km 5:04 [1:29:54 NEW PB!]
22km 3:35 (Only 0.9km)
23km 4:25
24km 4:16
25km 4:25
26km 4:41  (Last km ran with average being on 3 hour pace, no longer able to hold fast pace with foot pain)
27km 4:41
28km 4:54
29km 4:58

42.2km 3:12:44

This means I averaged 4:16 for the first 26km and then slowed down to 5:04 for the last 16.2k. This is really something I need to work on for the next race, hopefully I can avoid the foot pain, but to be perfectly honest, had it not been my ankle, something else would have hurt.

My biggest mistake other than the timing chip was lack of preparation. My longest run prior to the marathon was 28km and I really think I payed for that. I was able to run strong thru to the finish which I would have liked to have done, so when I run one again, I will really be more strict with my training and plan out a regime that will involve a longer run.

Anyways, hopefully I didn't bore everyone. If you felt reading about this was long, you should have tried running it.

Here is a finish photo, do I look happy?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pre Marathon Thoughts

I wrote this the night before the marathon, but didn't have any internet so wasn't able to put it up, my brother is in town, so writing has been hard because he has been keeping my computer during the day and at night we are usually out. A race report is in the works, but this will have to do for now.

Its the night before the marathon, nothing more I can do to prepare, legs are feeling typically tight, however, no real pain associated. Ankles and heels feel a little hollow. Hopefully that will go away with sleep. Goal of breaking 3 hours still seems unreasonable but I am going to try for it. Hopefully I can bank some time early and ride that into the end. 

In our race packaged there were details of where the aid stations will be, I'm not overly impressed with their location. Powergels will only be iven out at the 13/34km mark instead of the advertised 13-26km. I'll change my pre race plan, I was going to take a gel roughly at km 6,13,20,26,34. But with the aid stations moved I will now have to take an extra gel and cary it for km 20-26 because my pocket only holds one. No big deal. I can just tell that they are going to be crappy strawberry banana flavor or chocolate though.

Dinner tonight was a little more rich than I would have wanted, a whole lot of creamy sauce over my pasta, I managed to fish out most of the pasta leaving the sauce behind. All that said my stomach is feeling god and relaxed, Two cliff bars in the morning and some gatoraide and I should be good to go.

Its 10:15, so heading to bed, waking up at 6 for the race.

On another note, the race shirt is really nice, not the best color, but a nice cut and fit.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Nearly Killed By a Carrot

To begin, I suppose I will explain the title. I was laying down doing my stretches earlier, and whilst eating a carrot nearly choked. Instead of panic running through my head screaming "I CAN'T BREATHE!" I was thinking to myself how embarrassed I would be had I died from a carrot. Needless to say, since I am still here writing, I managed to cough out the carrot and continue my stretches. Damn vegetables. They're trying to get me.

Vegetable count, yesterday I unfortunately stayed at work late (only got home at 11pm), and was supposed to do groceries but wasn't able to. Net result; my vegetable day count ended at 9 days. I didn't make it to the grocery store today either, however, sorry Rob, but I stole some carrots. Finally after all those comments, you can finally say "Feed the Warrior" and have it count.

Other exciting news. I got my racing flats from New Balance today. Just to explain how cool they are. Take your typical running shoe. Any normal Asics, Adidas, NB, Nike, Mizuno, etc. Well, the shoes that most of you own that are considered nice "light" running shoes come in around 13-15 ounces. A really nice "lightweight" trainer that typically gets adults impressed come in around 10 ounces. These new puppies of mine, come in at 5.5 ounces. Its pretty sweet, its like wearing nothing at all.

A few people have asked if I will be wearing them for the marathon on sunday. The answer to that is no. Since they are so lightweight, they don't offer any support which is fine for distances up to half marathon, however, I don't think it would be wise running the full 42.2 km on un-supportive shoes.

Here is a photo, sorry, but I seem to have misplaced my camera, so it was taken with the crappy webcam on my computer and the sweet colors don't show as brilliantly as they should.

In other news, Marta and I went to go see the new Michael Cera movie, Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist at which point I had my manliness put into question. When the movie ended I was thinking, not bad, I enjoyed that quite a bit. Then Marta looks at me and says, "Sorry, that was a major chickflick." hmmm, not too sure what to think of my stance on that one. Oh well, at. least I'm sporting a sweet beard which could be turned into an amazing mustache at a moments notice to make up for it.

Anyways, I'll probably have another post this week before the big race. I mainly just wanted to show the new shoes since I was all pumped to find them at my door.

Bye Bye

Monday, October 6, 2008

Potential Cause of Leg Injury

I've been complaining about my leg hurting for some time now, however, since my 28k run last weekend my right leg has gotten tighter and tighter. I've done nothing but stretch since then, so I am trying to come up with a potential cause...

What have I changed about my lifestyle?

All I've come up with is this...

Curious. What do you have to say about that Tanis! I always knew vegetables were bad for you.

Anyways, I'm just kidding, obviously the vegetables have had a positive impact on my health, but didn't really have anything to update for today. 

I am proud to say I've made it 9 days now though. And most of those have been real vegetables and not simply V8.

Marathon October 12th

Just a quick update, no time for a real post.

There has been a lot of confusion, the marathon is next weekend, and not yesterday.

Stay tunned!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Easy Week/Two Week Challenge

Since my long run on the weekend, this has simply been an easy week to give my body time to recover for the big race. 

Have done a few swim practices and coached but didn't run my Wednesday run practice, instead I did the warmup and simply stretched.

My main concern is still as always my right leg holding out on me. Its the reason I didn't race in Sooke a few weeks ago and now it may be the detriment that keeps me from attaining my goals next week in Victoria. 

What concerns me more about hurting during the race is the knowledge that I will try and push through it. Seeing as how this has been bothering me for the greater part of a month now, I'm nervous that I could cause some serious injury that would take a long time to recover from, it wouldn't be one of those cases where I am stiff for a few days then all better.

Energy has been good, the main preparation I'm doing now is going to be shifting my sleeping pattern trying to make it so that I go to bed earlier and wake up earlier as well so that its not as big of a shock on race day.

On another note, I've decided to do a two week challenge for myself. Starting last Monday I declared to a few friends that I would have at least 2 servings of vegetables a day for two weeks to see the impact. For those of you who know me, I NEVER eat vegetables and I think that it is probably impacting my health and performance to some extent. Its kinda like the all brand two week challenge. I'm trying to do it with fresh vegetables, however, I have also bought a 2L bottle of V8 for the days that I miss out. So far so good, 5 days down and holding strong. Depending on how this goes I may try and make this a staple of my diet, that would probably be the healthy thing to do.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Throwing Down the Gauntlet, Marathon Training Complete.

I figure I have postponed this long enough, I'm throwing down the gauntlet. So here it is; my goal for the marathon is 2:59:59 or better.

Now the nerves set in.

Yesterday I did my last long run before the marathon. It was supposed to be 30km, however, when I got home my rough calculation put it at 28km and there was no way I was heading out the door for an extra 2k.

It felt pretty good. Joints held together quite well, and muscles felt great. Being 24 hours later I actually feel as though I could go out and run it all over again today. The big question is can I maintain for 42k at a faster pace.

Accompanied with tapering is a funny feeling I've always hated, the feeling that there is nothing more to do. The temptation to go out and get a little more in, cramming training is always lingering and you just have to convince yourself not to blow up before the race even begins. 

So there it is. I'm done training, I will lead out my two run practices before the race and probably do a few easy 10k runs, but nothing more than that. Just enough to stay loose and focus on stretching out my IT bands and glutes.

I was debating a lot before today as to whether or not I would set an ambitious or conservative goal for the marathon. I have full confidence I could run a 3:10 and qualify for Boston, but that was never my goal, breaking 3:00 was and even if I ran conservatively and ran say a 3:07 I would still be upset at not having gone for it. That being said, there is the risk I crash and burn and don't make my 3 hour mark and as a result blow way beyond 3:10, but thats a risk I'm willing to take. 

Wish me luck. I'll have more pre race thoughts in the week to come.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Marathon Update

Yesterday marked the 3rd race of the Vancouver Cycle Series (VCC, don't ask why its VCC instead of VCS, no one knows). The race was a 10.4km Individual Time Trial from Jericho down to Marine drive just before 41st. Mostly flat other than the ~2km hill up to UBC.

I started somewhere midpack with Barry 30 seconds behind. As my friend counted me down I jumped into my pedals and powered away. Thinking I was going strong, Barry had caught me by the bottom of the hill. Was simply amazing! He ended up winning the time trial by nearly 30 seconds and me by over 2 minutes. He's clearly in great shape.

The reason I bring up this race was because for the third time now, my leg has been fine to race high intensity, however, as soon as the rush ends and I begin to slow down, the pain becomes excruciating. Finishing the race, I returned to UBC to get my stuff and ended up leaving my bike there to bus home. I'm really glad biking season for the most part (Still VCC races) is over. 

On the fortunate side, my leg doesn't bother me at all when I run. Since my previous training update I've had a few descent runs. The most prominent being a 13k hard run last week. running it in roughly 55-56 minutes. I felt great the whole time, never out of my comfort zone. Now the question is can I do this for another 2+ hours. My heart rate was averaged 170 for the hour, a few beats higher than I would like, but not out of control. 

I also did a nice speed workout last week which was 4 X 1km, and I managed to hold 3:30 with 90 seconds break. All in all a good practice.

This weekend I will have my longest run yet at 32km. This will be my final long run before the marathon and I start to taper.

You may have noticed that I have yet to mention my target time, that doesn't mean I don't have one, I just don't want to have it in writing just yet because I may re-evaluate.

On the marathon front. I've already mentioned that my cousin Sean is running it, however, a new twist is that my brother Luke is coming out to visit the week of the marathon and has decided to race it as well. We will see how that goes, he has given himself 26 days to go from scratch to 42.2k, including taper. I'm excited to see how it goes. He said he ran 18k this past weekend and felt good, so I'm going to keep cheering him on.

Other than training, but in triathlon related news, I've begun coaching the run practices for the UBC tri club. Which means every wednesday I lead out the run. Whats nice about this, other than being involved is that it forces me to go out for runs every Wednesday, and days like today for example, this was a struggle because it was poring rain. The responsibility to attend is a great motivator though, and once I got out I was happy to be there. The only downside to todays run was that I tripped over the root and performed a SPECTACULAR roll as I fell down the hill. Net result, I have scrapes down my side and am now getting polysporin all over everything, but the cuts aren't bad, the only thing I hurt was my pride.

Stay tuned! Next week I think I'm coaching a 5km Time Trial, I could have a new marker for my fitness.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I typically do my writing at night, and the past couple weeks with classes I've had to read papers every night, and if not have been trying to recover from a cold. Hopefully I'll have a new update by Tueday, I have a big paper due tomorrow, once thats out of the way it will clear up a lot of my time.

However a quick update, this past week was my birthday and I decided to hold a classy party with a dress code and here are a few photos from the night.

A way of starting off the night well is with a party shot of Appleton's 151 Rhum

A nice group shot as we arrived downtown

Few of the guys hitting the streets in style

Stories to come

-Marathon Training Update
-Sooke Half IM recap
-Triathlon Season recap

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rough Weekend

This weekend didn't go as well as I had planned. For those outside of earshot of me, I've been complaining about hip pain for a while now. I've been going to physiotherapy and it turns out that my Gluteus Medius, or simple Glute is freakishly tight all the time . Not only is it a flexibility problem, but also, turns out that the order in which my hamstring/glutes fire is wrong. 

To deal with this I've begun doing a series of stretches which is great, problem being, the more I stretch out my glutes, the looser my hips are getting and other muscles are having to pick up the slack. The core muscles that were supposed to stabilize all along are finally being called into action and this is causing me a lot of issues. I was out on a ride yesterday and only got 30k before my leg muscles started spazzing on me. I rode the remaining 40k predominantly with one leg.

I woke up this morning and my leg was still hurting a bit so I decided to skip my ride which is frustrating because this was supposed to be a heavy weekend. I debated going for a run but decided that was a bad idea as well.

Taking the whole day off I got a bit accomplished though, did my stretches and began cleaning up my apartment. And topped of the day by going down to the beach and reading there until it was too dark to read. 

I feel that in Vancouver I really am not taking advantage of my environment as much as I should be, we have one of the most beautiful beaches of any city in the world and I've only gone down to it a handful of times. And so despite not getting my training weekend in that I had hoped for, I did enjoy the beach which was something I probably wouldn't have experienced had I been 100% healthy.

Here is a photo I took tonight while on the beach, I would have taken more but I got 1 photo and my camera died, turned out pretty well though I would say.

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and wish me luck at physio tomorrow morning. 

Oh and a side note I thought was funny, when I googled Glute Med Images, this is what came up.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

T-10 Day Countdown

As I approach my last triathlon of the season, I won't lie, I feel really unprepared. For my 6th season in a row I have gone to my cottage for the beginning of August and training has simply shut down. Now its the game I love to play where I try to recover my form as quickly as possible. 

My main concern is on the bike, I've been struggling with my bike all summer, and I feel the lack of mileage will really show, I'll be missing that much needed Oomph. 

The Sooke race is a two lap bike course which has been described as rolling, I can deal with that and just pray for no wind. Wind is where I will find the most difficulty.

The run course however, is raced on roads and not gravel trails. Although gravel is better for joints, road running is faster, so it will be interesting to see what the impact of that is on my time.

As for a training update, I am focussing mainly on the bike/run portion of this coming race, and hoping that the couple day cram session of swimming next week brings my fitness back to normal. 

This past weekend I did my first long run in preparation for the marathon next month, 24km in 1:55. Was a comfortable pace and I felt I could have gone on much longer. At this pace I would only have run a 3:20 marathon though, which is nowhere near my target time. So my next long run I will try and up the pace. The biggest obstacle however was boredom, despite running with my iPod, I had to keep tricking myself into running longer. My 30k long run will be a test of mental strength more so than physical, maybe I'll get someone to meet me for the last 10-15k of the run.

I'm sorry for the painful update, my next one will be more creative.

And they will be more frequent than the previous month as well. With the tri club starting up soon I will finally have something to talk about.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Transition Workshop

Unless you've got them mastered, transitions are the easiest way to strip 30 seconds to a minute off your race time.

Sure you say, but I don't want to focus time on transitions and whats 30 seconds  over a 2-3 hour race. Well, just put into perspective how much work you would need to put in the pool to strip 30 seconds off your 1500m pace. That would take month at the least if your a beginner, a year if your a stellar swimmer. There is a reason my old coach from McGill Annie used to make us practice transitions monthly if not more during the summer. Not always the most exciting practice, but definitely essential and it really payed off. 

Following these simple tips, you can strip that time off your transitions in under an hour of practice. These may seem obvious and I'm sure you've all heard them before if you've raced triathlons, however, it never hurts to repeat it.

I wrote this over a few days, so if there are some things that I've missed, leave a comment and I'll make the correction.

Step 1, Keep it Simple
This is the single most important thing to remember for a successful transition.

In my transition all I have on the ground are.
-Running Shoes
-Race Belt
-Sometimes Hat

I see so many transitions filled with Fuel belts, extra gels, water bottles, talcum powder for your feet, extra towel, water bucket, extra shirt, shorts, WAY TOO MUCH! Not only will too much stuff confuse you during a transition, but space is often EXTREMELY limited. As you'll see from my photos, it can be cramped, and this was even a generous spot.

I understand the need for a fuel belt if your running a poorly organized marathon with aid stations every 5 km, but for most every race I've ever done, there have been plenty water or Gatoraide.

Try and find a race suit that will accommodate you for all three events, changing is just throwing away time.

Don't get me wrong, I bring power gels and gatoraide on the bike, but I already have them  taped to my bike so I don't need to think about them during the race. Taping gels to your aerobars is what I find easiest. 

Now that you have slimmed down your transition as much as possible, its time to set up.

Step 2, Layout in Order
Place everything on a bright towel that is easily recognized from a distance in order of use. I put my glasses in my helmet and helmet on aerobars so when I exit the water, I throw on my glasses then put on my helmet (Note: If you are going to do this, make sure to place them in the direction so that you don't have to spin them to get them on. 10 seconds later I have both on, I grab my bike and run out of transition. Its as easy as that.

Bike-Run transition is a little trickier, but use the same premise, I put on socks, so I have them on my shoes, result being I can't put my shoes on without moving my socks. Then I have my shoes resting over my hat (if I'm using it) and race belt. These two last things can be put on while moving. 

If you don't have triathlon bike shoes, then you will need to have them on the ground beside your bike. If this is the case, place them in front of your running shoes so that they are most accessible, two reasons for this, you will be using them first and most people during bike dismount can get their feet out of their shoes while on the bike.

You want your swim-bike transition to be the easiest, because you are typically more lightheaded when you exit the water than getting off the bike.

Step 3, Bike Shoes Mount
If you are fortunate enough to have Tri shoes for your bike, the you should have them already clipped in, straps open and in a proper gear before you begin the race. You will need small elastics to strap the shoes to the frame so that when you run they don't fly all over the place and for ease of departure. Personally I find the small black hair elastics, or those that come with vegetables (asparagus, broccoli) to be the best for this, because they aren't very long and snap easily when you apply a little pressure. 

I like having my right shoe forward since I run with my bike on my right, but this is all personal preference. 

Notice small elastics on the back of my shoes.

Most races I have gone to have required it due to space limitations, but even if not I recommend racking your bike by the seat. The reason for this is because if you rack it by the handle bars, as you pull your bike out, the back wheel will spin backwards and move your pedals snapping the elastics.

Step 4, Sighting Your Spot 
One of the most annoying mistakes you can make is getting lost during the race in transition. Sadly I've done this a few times. During the race you come running in, and go straight passed your bike. This is why its really important to RUN throught the transition before the race. Running because things take on a different perspective when your going fast. This goes for the whole transition, finding your bike is great but running the wrong way once you have it is also not good.

I use a really big bright towel that I put under my bike and shoes, this is helpful for two reasons, first being you can spot it from far away, and the second, it can be used to brush your feet quickly as your putting your shoes on. You don't have to pick up the towel to do this, just a quick wipe.

Step 5, Stay relaxed
Racing through transition at full speed will save time, but when your sock is bunched up and gives you blisters 3km into the race, it really won't turn up being worth it. Keep in mind that 5 seconds wasted to make sure things are on track is worth it. I know this goes against everything I've been saying above, but believe me, if your relaxed and thinking clearly you'll probably go even faster.

Step 6, Never Sit Down
I have yet to this day see a fast transition done by someone who sits down. It just isn't done. If you need to sit, its because your not comfortable enough in transition yet. 

I googled slow transition and this is the image I found, looks like she is ready for a picnic or something. Titled Kelly Phares-Zook: Lost in Transition

Rumor has it there was a TV and Tea just outside of the framing of the photo.
Step 7, Speed Laces
Elastic laces are the greatest thing since sliced bread. I won't go into them here much, but if your at the point were cutting off little bits of time is important, I highly recommend getting them. They keep your shoes tight, and never come undone since they are usually locked in. (Note: Some people on their first few times using speed laces get blisters because they apply pressure in different spots than normal laces. Practice with them once or twice first).

Step 8, Getting Out Of Your Wetsuit
Big problem people have (leading cause of sitting down after shoes). The easiest way to get out of a wetsuit is to do so immediately. Don't wait till you get to your bike, start taking it off while your still standing ankle deep in the water. The water that has filled the wetsuit acts like a lubricant to remove the suit, and every second spend not getting it off your arms and torso makes it just that much harder since the water is pouring out the ankles. Quick suggestion though, don't take off your bathing cap and goggles first, this makes arms really hard to get out, simply pop your goggles to your forehead. That should seem like a given, but I've made this mistake twice this summer. Sure a bare head makes for better race photos, but does make transitions trickier. 

Oils of some type (ex Bodyglide) will help you get out of your wetsuit, but be weary, because if you get oil on your hands, could make for a slippery bike ride. Also you want to avoid petroleum based lubricants such as vaseline because over time this will chew up the suit. If you are among the unfortunate who finds it REALLY hard to get out of your wetsuit, I have known people who cut the calfs up, making the suit simply 3-4 inches shorter, the ankle holes are much bigger and easier to get out. Lauren Groves does this, however, with the price I paid for my suit I'm reluctant to actually cut into it.

Thats it. Those are my keys to transition. Using these techniques, excluding the time it takes to get to your bike (Variable due to the race), transitions shouldn't take more than 30 seconds. 

Good luck in your last races of the summer.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'll be back soon I promise

Sorry for being M.I.A. for so long, I've been catching up at work and socializing. Its disgusting I know.

But keep an eye out, there will be a few new post up in the near future.

Quick small victory I will talk about, I did my 2X5.75km loop practice last night.

first lap 24:23 (4:14/km) and second time after 90 seconds rest 24:40 (4:17/km), felt good and was 10 seconds faster per lap than 2 month ago when I did the same workout, but I don't know how long I will be able to hold that pace. 21k no problem, 42, yikes


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Rhymes with Honk

Km 13 – Riding up the hill towards prospect point, I start to laugh with Facundo that my legs are still stiff from last nights Seymore adventure and that I need to loosen up for the rest of my ride. The weather is perfect and my spirits are high.


An uneventful trip out towards Horseshoe bay where Kevin surges up a few hills, but I am content with sitting on his wheel and just following, realizing that this is going to be a long day in the saddle, pacing my effort is going to be my key to success.


My growing impatience with taking it easy starts to wear on me. I accelerate out of a long sweeping descent arriving at the marina before the final 2km climb up to our turnaround. Deciding to keep the sustained effort up the hill I plod along, Facundo catapults himself by with ease and I try and respond. Kevin who was riding a fair bit behind after the descent slowly climbs his way back to me and passes. I’m thinking to myself Kevin is having a good day. We have a fairly quick first hour on the bike, however, due to city and park traffic it still takes an hour and ten minutes to get to Horseshoe bay, 34km of my day finished.


The plan to the day was survival, to do this nutrition was a must, I have packed with me a plethora of  energy foods, Cliff bars, Powergels and a handful of chocolate chip peanut butter cookies Lilia made me. While waiting for the guys to take a nature break is mow down on some food.


Riding back from Horseshoe bay is always fun, it’s a net downhill, and although there are two long accents, they are followed by really long gradual descents where you can carry some great speed.


Riding between the two, I plan poorly for a climb and am in a heavy gear. I always forget about this climb. Kevin passes me and I joke about my stupidity. I give them some distance figuring I will simply make it up over the next few km. A fellow cyclist passes me on the flat and I click onto his wheel with the hope he will pull me back to my friends. Man both Facundo and Kevin are riding strong today. After about 5km they still have 15-20 seconds on me and I can’t close it down. I finally catch up as we reach the town at a light. Gulping down water I fiddle with my speedometer – 45km, I hope they don’t try and up the pace, I’m struggling. Last nights ride is beginning to take its toll.


Passing under the Lions Gate bridge I have my first Powergel, Vanilla YUM, I’m leading out until Lonsdale, where once again they pull away on a steady hill, taking advantage of congestion on the road I’m able to make up ground once more. I’m regretting my 90k Seymore ride last night.


I am stealing time whenever I can, noticing that Kevin and Facundo are sitting up and chatting behind me, I don’t waste the effort, head down, constant motion, I pull 200 then 500 meters ahead of them, not hard just, trying to bank time for when they start to motor. This may not have been to my advantage. The two close in on me fairly quickly once they start up again.


Determined not to slow them down I  jump between them and aggressively draft off Facundo, not letting this Argentinean motor pull away from me. Realizing that he has a train following him, he decides this is a good time to open up, 41kph, 43kph, 45kph, our speed keeps creeping up on the flat. Never ceasing,  riding steady 4% inclines at 38-40kph. Its taking all my effort just to hold on. Usually we do pulls like this for 1-3km. I keep on eye on the speedometer, 4km, he’s still holding strong, he must let up soon, arriving on Dollarton Road, we hit a rough patch of pavement, his speed is steady, mine slows drastically, my spinning isn’t sufficient to hold the power, I think to myself how difficult it must be for the pros when they hit the cobbled sections during the Paris-Roubaix. I apply the same strategy to my modest ride, heaving gearing low cadence over rough patches for better stability and power transfer. I crawl back to the Argentineans wheel, my eyes focused on only one thing, maintaining that 3-4 inches between wheels so as to not have to expend any more energy than required. 7km, he still hasn’t let up, staring down at his wheel in a trance, I should watching the road, BAM pothole, that one hurt a little bit, but no accident, this wakes me up a little. I look back at my wheel, Kevin is also holding on, looking strong but later confessing that he agrees the Argentinean bastard is a monster for putting us through such paces. Kevin has staying power, 1 hour, 4 hours, 6 hours, he hold steady, more than I can say for myself.


We reach the end of the big hill on Dollarton, I’ve survived, its downhill to Deep Cove. The Argentinean Monster takes off, and I decide to sit up and initiate conversation with Kevin, offering an excuse for myself to slow down. Getting to Deep Cove my legs are spent. I’ve finished both water bottles and eat my second Cliff Bar, no more cookies left, those I finished early. A very lengthy bathroom break to recover, I refill my bottles. For anyone interested, there is a culture center in Deep Cove, has a great public bathroom, not concern of sneaking into Starbucks or restaurants.


68km – I’ve realized my long ride isn’t going to happen, 180km is unlikely, and getting home is going to be a struggle. I confess at the cost of my ego to the guys that I can no longer hold the pace we came out in (the devastation, my pride, oh God!).


Kevin and Facundo are leading me home, they’re helping me on my way. I no longer have to refer to them by nicknames, that Argentinean bastard is once more Facundo. The ride back is uneventful. Not all to much talking on my behalf, Kevin and Facundo ride ahead of me breaking the wind (hehehe, but really now, I was drafting well).


Passing through Stanley Park I decide that since I am not riding the Richmond loop, that maybe I will go for a run instead. Derek was eager to exercise today, writing an essay has that effect on people, so I agreed compromised the ride for a run. This probably wasn’t the best idea. I’m now passing through Vancouver and I’m fading fast, sucking back Power gels so close to home, I’ve never done this before. But this time wasn’t for pleasure, it was necessity, without them I was going to bonk hard. Facundo turns off at his house and Kevin rides back with me up Dunbar. I’m at 97km. Almost there.

Riding up Dunbar I am holding a measly 12kph, my normal pace is to big gear it up at 25-30kph. This hurts. I crawl back to my place and consume as much sugars and fats as I can. Lilia, I ate 11 of your cookies, delicious!


20-minute recuperation and I was feeling good. I know I had avoided catastrophy. I hop back on my bike and ride out to meet Derek at UBC. This was going to be an epic brick workout.


Now before I describe my run, WHAT WAS I THINKING? GOING FOR A RUN WITH A GOOD RUNNER ON FRESH LEGS. I’m an idiot.


The run was really good actually, it was 1:30 PM and the sun was at its strongest, running into the woods we take refuge from the sun. I’m feeling good, we are holding a steady pace. And roughly 45 minutes and 10k later we arrive back at Dereks. Day complete. I stumble back onto my bike and make my way home to spend the rest of the day eating and Napping.


Thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

300km in 24 Hours.

In a strategy I have used many times over the years, I am going to try foolishly and "Bank" training tomorrow.

On Wednesday morning I am leaving for my cottage in Nova Scotia, and sadly, have decided not to bring my bike. 

As a result of this decision I need to get the most out of my bike training before I leave, when I get back I will only have 2 weeks until the Vancouver triathlon to find my biking legs again.

The training I have proposed isn't actually all that adventuresome. The 300km started today with a 90k ride up Mt Seymore, I took it fairly easy because I was a little apprehensive about my rides tomorrow. Tomorrows ride will be a loop of the North Shore with Kevin, Facundo, and Derek, upon completion, if I have any takers, they will accompany me for a loops around Richmond. 

At this point I plan on doing mainly all flat riding, so unless the others really want to ride Seymore or Cypress, it should be a fairly easy day, despite the distance.

If I get this done it will be A) My longest ride ever (Previous 165k), and B) my most intense two days coming it at just under 300km.

For a very rough idea of the route I've mapped it out here which has mileage, or you can get a general ideal just by looking at the picture. (Notice it says 185km, well thats because I wasn't following the road very accurately, I'll have a more exact number tomorrow.

I in my infinite wisdom tonight didn't think about what this task I was taking on would mean, and the realization that I may want to carb load prior to a 6-7 hour training day never crossed my mind. So there I was at 10PM preparing pasta which I just finished eating. Lets hope that cuts it!

Anyways, this was a pretty crummy post, I apologize for that, writing about predictions and such is never all that exciting for a training day.

The difficulty won't be the distance as much as I think it will be the speed.

Nike came out with this commercial not too sure how long ago. I don't have a TV so its new to me. I just think its amazing

Also, if you enjoyed that, you can go to the Nike Website and check out the names of all the athletes that are seen along with a little blurb about each of them. Steve Prefontaine, Lance Armstrong, and John McEnroe what more can you need!

When I am out there tomorrow hurting and wanting to cut the route short (fortunately/unfortunately this is an option quite frequently on my ride) I will just think about this commercial and motivate myself to push harder and keep on going.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wimpy cycling legs make for good running legs

Last night I did a run workout that I read about on a fellow triathlete Adrian Delmonte's blog. The workout is quite simple. 

3k at 5k pace
2k at 3k pace
1k all out.

I wasn't sure what my 5k pace was so I decided to just wing it and hope I could go down from there.

Heres how it went.

15 minute job to track on 16th, 

Scrape foot in dirt and create a start finish line.

Reset watch and start.

3km completed in 11:30 (3:51/3:51/3:48). Felt good, first few 100 meters hurt, I haven't run hard in a while, but was manageable once I got my breathing smooth.

2km completed in 7:24 (3:38/3:46), realized I was going to fast after the first lap and slowed it down, goal was 3:45 so slowed down a little too much on second km.

1km completed in 3:26, couldn't keep this pace for much more than 1.5km.

Was nice to do a track workout, lately I've just been doing long runs, I felt I really need to work on speed and haven't had the courage to go out and do a track workout on my own so I'm quite pleased with that.

Tonight, open water swim. Weather looks nice so I think I will try and do 2 laps tonight without a wetsuit. 

Lilia arrived this morning, so blog updates may be a little slow soon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Humbling Day on a Bike

This was going to be a comical entry where I boast about a glorious victory at the Kits open water swim race, however, after a rough day at work today, and a very humbling performance on my bike tonight I decided against it.

Sunday I raced the 3k and floundered to a victory in my age category swimming a season slowest pace of 1:37/100 meters. Why my victory, well thats simple, I was the only individual aged 20-24 participating. I wasn't going out with the intention of killing myself and only wanted to use this swim as a training tool. It was a much smaller field than most triathlons I've done, In my race I would assume there were only about 50 swimmers, the result of this being I swam most of the way on my own. This was good practice, I got to work on sighting and trying to swim straight. I wore a new pair of goggles and am pleased to announce they worked great. The blue seventy goggles were very comfortable.

One thing that I am pleased about with this race was that over the summer I have been having trouble with my wetsuit rubbing my right collarbone, and I think swimming this race I have figured out the cause. I am crossing my right arm under my body causing the rubbing. So thats what I need to work on next week.

I followed up Sundays swim by going to the Monday night ocean swim, and this was my first time without a wetsuit. The water wasn't "hot" per-say but it was bearable, and its nice to swim without the wetsuit once in a while.

With my swimming story out of the way, its time to describe my brilliant crit tonight.

I've developed a fairly large head on my shoulders after my previous triathlon successes, and I forced myself to race tonight with the intention of punishing and getting myself grounded. Sure, I am a decent triathlete, but the stereotypes are true, triathletes aren't cyclist.

This was my first time back to the Tuesday Night Crits since before my three half ironmen. I wasn't all too sure what to expect, but I figured I was in for some trouble seeing as how most cyclist would have been training hard building speed and power, where as over the past month I haven't done any of that with my racing going on. And seeing as how I haven't kept up with either of the two crits I did in May, this was sure to be a hard race. How hard was a little more of a surprise to me.

I raced with a heart monitor which I never do, and it led to some very interesting data which makes me pleased I wore it.

Problems started from the gun, as the official was counting down from 5 seconds some idiot lady decided it was a good idea to debate crossing the street. She ended up deciding this was a good idea just as I heard GO. The result being half the pack moved up the street while my side had to break hard and wait for her to frantically drop her bag and run out of the way. Nothing quite like racing to catch up right from the gun. 200 meters into the race, heart rate goes from 72 beats/minute to 156bpm. I know what my coaches back home are going to say, I should have warmed up. Well I did, its just that due to a crash out on the course in an earlier race, the staging time was very long and everyone was complaining about cooling down at the start line.

After the initial confusion at the start, I got into the pack and was riding well. First lap went by fairly uneventful, I was keeping my position (top 5 for once) quite easily. Second lap things started to fall apart, my heart rate on the second climb was reaching 170bpm and I just couldn't push out the power up the hill. My fears were realized, I raced up the hill at a similar pace to the previous races (36-42km/h) but the pack was pushing 42-44km/h. They had gotten stronger over the past month and a half while I hadn't gained any power. This did not bode well for me. After three laps I slipped back from 5th to last place in the remaining peleton (amazing how quickly people drop off, despite moving to the back, I was hardly last place, some 10-15 people had already dropped off). I kept on to the back for another lap watching 4-5 more people fly off from in front of me and unable to catch my wheel and just fly off the back. I was hopeful that I would be able to hold for at least another climb of the hill but it wasn't meant to be. Like an elastic being snapped I was gone. Instead of killing myself, I shamefully pulled out with my worst finish yet, only making it 4 laps of 15.

Ok, now I said I was pleased I had my heart rate monitor. Why, you ask. Because I realized that it was hardly cardiovascular that was slowing me down. My heart race never toped 171bpm, whereas I've gotten my heart rate above 190 on a bike in years past. This means that my legs are wimpy (I know we all knew that). I have noticed that my running and swimming have improved this year, but biking has not, this is because I have hit a plateau with my power output and despite my spinning legs with endurance, I can't increase my watts. I'm changing my training regime. Much more powerful rides, 30-40k at LT (Lactic Threshold) and no more of these 5-6 hour cruises where my heart race stays at 130bpm. I think 2/3 of the way thru the season is late enough to stop my base training. Hopefully thru this I can increase my power output and get more comfortable pushing thru my lactic threshold, because I know today as soon as I hit it, I was done.

There you have it, two pathetic races over the past week, but two very good learning tools for my focused training over the next month and a half until Sooke.

My little sister Lilia gets to town this week, so training may take a hit there, but thats probably a good thing, I don't think I have recovered fully from my last weeks of racing. My legs felt heavy tonight along with wimpy.

I'll leave you with a quote I've been saying all week.